Soundproofing Between Office and Shop

Advice on quieting down your machines and on isolating the office from shop floor noise. November 14, 2011

Any tips on how to reduce shop noise level? We just moved a new warehouse that's twice the size and higher ceilings as the old, and it seems as though our machines sound louder in this new shop. I have heard of sound panels that are used in auditoriums, music studios, and inside walls, but I don't know if they would work in a cabinet shop. I am especially looking to reduce noise level going into office. Every time a customer comes by, I have to tell the guys to shut off machines (jointer, planer, etc.) until done with the customer.

Forum Responses
(Cabinet and Millwork Installation Forum)
From contributor J:
A spiral cutterhead on those two machines would do it. I just put a Byrd head in my planer, and now I can barely hear it. I can plane without my headphones even! I've tried to soundproof the office in the past, and it's difficult, and you can spend a ton of time and money doing it.

From contributor W:
You can put a silencer on your dust collector to help reduce the dbs.

From contributor M:
Spiral cutterheads will help a lot. Also, you could look into putting your dust collector outside, or build a separate room for it and insulate it with acoustical insulation. Someday I would like to move my dust collector outside. It would reduce a lot of noise, and gain me some space for another machine.

From contributor C:
Walls with insulation over the collector and carpet pad along the walls in two layers behind it. It is fire retardant and you can get it cheap. 2x6 wall with 5/8" rock for office wall. Make sure you have it to ceiling of warehouse or sound will come in there too. May seem like a lot of money to spend. It's not - the shop needs to run all the time.

From contributor L:
First step to sound control is sealing. Weatherstrip the door, seal any cracks, electrical outlets, etc. When I built our office, I used 2x6 plates sealed to the concrete floor with PL400, staggered 2x4's with fiberglass insulation, a layer of sound board like they use in offices, then inner and outer 5/8" gyp. Office is 20' from molder and is quiet. Ceiling is similar.

From contributor A:
Isolate the dust collectors by any means. They make the machines seem quiet. Stick them outside if possible. The office should be easy to soundproof. Buy an exterior insulated fiberglass door. Use that as the interior door between the shop and office. You can remove the aluminum threshold. Throw up a sheet of soundboard (stinky sheet that is the ugly smelly cousin of Homasote board). Then cover it with 5/8" sheetrock. This will reflect the noise back into the shop.